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We are so BLESSED!! Our documentary is so close to done!

From Stephanie Bys

Yesterday at church a young man was sharing and celebrating the work God has done in his life recentlyLucas attributes that work to Jeff and I being here. Maybe God called us here for work such as that, but it truly is all God. At one point he told Jeff that the Lord will bless us, that He will really bless us for the work we are doing here. Then it hit me...they don't even realize that they are the blessing!

 Renting a church use tent now that we have started construction on the remainder of the home! Neema Community Church is open air and full of light now!

Renting a church use tent now that we have started construction on the remainder of the home! Neema Community Church is open air and full of light now!

Lucas is right in saying that God will bless us. He has and He does daily. Getting to walk alongside Lucas and see real life change is a blessing to us. Watching some of our staff go from surviving to thriving is such a blessing to us. Watching Dan get off of the streets and glue, then work his way to 4th in his class is a blessing to us. Seeing Zeke, Minnie, Joy and Gracious go from malnourished to chunky little babies is a blessing. Seeing Barasa walk away from alcohol, being serious about his job, showing up and participating in church weekly and loving on his sweet baby Paul is such a blessing. Seeing Jamila able to pay school fees for her children is a blessing to us. Seeing Nickson love on our children and really care for them is such a blessing to us. I could go on and on with blessings, the point is the people we live life with on a daily basis are a huge blessing to us.

God has blessed us like crazy. He brought us all the way to Kenya and blesses us daily by allowing us to live here and walk alongside these people, many who are just like family to us now.

So instead of Lucas thanking us, we should be thanking him! ๐Ÿ’œ
#mercychildrenshome  #aboutfacemissions #kenya #changingourstory #james127 #nonprofit #blessings


JAMBO from Kenya! While we wait anxiously for our full documentary to be fully ready to revealโ€ฆ..
We're excited to share now our official trailer for AFM Mercy Home Ministry documentary!!!
Take short glimpse of our soon to release full movie documentary of our Mercy Children's Home ministry in Bungoma Kenya ...featuring our Jeff Bys and Stephanie Bys 
family missionary team and local Kenyans. 
To learn more about our ministry visit Aboutfacemissions.com and select Mercy Home from our Ministries menu after hitting Enter to visit the site!

AFM Mercy Children's Home ministry trailer to our full length documentary soon to released! 50 plus minutes to hear locals and our Bys family missionaries dialog about our ministry to the poor and needy of Kenya!

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Back to Construction and kids available to sponsor now!

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Back to Construction and kids available to sponsor now!

posted on behalf of Stephanie Bys from Facebook.

 new Ema full of joy

new Ema full of joy

As many of you know we now have a sponsorship program and instead of posting the whole album I thought I would share some individual pics and a little bit of their story. Below is Ema (long E) who is a former streetboy. Ema use to spend his days sniffing glue, stealing, begging for food and being chased away by adults. The first time I met Ema (picture in comments) I didn't understand why he was being chased by a security guard, why he was so dirty or why he was asking for money. My eyes were about to be opened and my heart was soon cracked wide open. Ema slept on the streets most nights until he come to MCH. Now Ema is in school getting and education and he never has to worry about food. If you would like to sponsor Ema just click his picture and comment "sponsored". Thank you for your prayers and support!

 old Ema when we found him

old Ema when we found him


 our new Minnie!

our new Minnie!

Our "tiny" Minnie girl needs a sponsor too! While you can't yet communicate back and forth with her yet we can certainly update you on her progress. Minnie came to us straight from the hospital, she had been hospitalized for 3 days due to malnourishment. She obviously isn't lacking in food any longer and has put on a lot of weight (check the comments for an old picture). She is such a sweet, happy baby and it is a blessing to love on her and watch her grow. Minnie is 6 months old and thriving here at Mercy Home. If you would like to sponsor Minnie just click on her picture and comment "sponsored". Please feel free to ask any and all questions you have.


Finally construction has begun on the boy's dorm room!

Currently, we have the boys in the girl's dorm room, and the girls are in a smaller room that will become the office/library/study. We will also begin the finishing phase of the boy's bathroom in the next few days.

 A lot of dirt has to be removed before laying the floor.

A lot of dirt has to be removed before laying the floor.

 Many of the rocks have to be broken up with a sledge hammer.

Many of the rocks have to be broken up with a sledge hammer.

The boys dorm room has progressed faster than I thought it would. A lot was done today despite our power issues which have caused us to not have enough water (no power, no water pump pumping) and delaying the construction team some. Tomorrow they should finish the first layer on the floors and all walls. Monday they will start the bathrooms! As much as I'm not a fan of living in a construction zone I can't tell you how exciting it is to be making progress after months of not. Thank you so much for all of your support! Praying, sharing and giving is what keeps us here in Kenya loving on these children, church members and our community. (Sorry for the terrible photos, it rained/got dark before I could get better pictures and we don't have all of the lights installed yet.)

 #aboutfacemissions #mercychildrenshome #james127#kenya #nonprofit #changingtheirstory

 Most of the room has the first layer of cement down.

Most of the room has the first layer of cement down.

 The next layer will be the smooth layer. Tomorrow the brick wall will be covered.

The next layer will be the smooth layer. Tomorrow the brick wall will be covered.

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too long since I posted an update!

 Zeke and Violet

Zeke and Violet

So it has been way too long since I posted an update, but here a little bit about why! Jeff left town on Sunday morning for a conference in Nairobi so I've been the one dealing with everything. Running a children's home is no easy task. Usually if we have an employee issue Jeff deals with that, if we have a disciplinary issue with a boy Jeff deals with that, if we have a staff meeting Jeff runs that, if we have people show up asking for a job Jeff deals with that, if we have some building going Jeff deals with that, anytime we have major behavior issues to address Jeff is involved with that, but the last few days all of that has fallen on me plus the normal life of being a Mama to many! I feel a little frazzled and torn on what to do next because I always have something to do next. Oh did I mention I don't sleep much when Jeff's gone and I have some sort of infection where my impacted molar is? I promise you I'm not complaining, life here is so good even when I'm frazzled and without my love by my side!

  A brother and a sister about 5 and 6 years old with bad jiggers we are helping

 A brother and a sister about 5 and 6 years old with bad jiggers we are helping

Today Karson sprayed 5 homes for jiggers. A few days ago we met a woman who had many jiggers even in her hands. ๐Ÿ’” So she and several of her neighbors were treated and had their homes sprayed today.

Next up on our agenda is to get the kids ready for school, they start back Monday for the final term of this year. We are currently trying to make sure each child has a pair of shoes to wear ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ and I will likely have to buy several pairs this weekend.

 Our sweet Lexy girl! Lord please send us to the right places with the right doctors for her! ๐Ÿ’œ

Our sweet Lexy girl! Lord please send us to the right places with the right doctors for her! ๐Ÿ’œ

Friday Jeff and I will travel to pick up a little girl (Lexy) with special needs. What her exact needs are we aren't sure, with complex issues it can be hard to get a real diagnosis. She is 3 and can't walk or talk, but she can hear and she eats just fine! Jeff just today made a new connection with a hospital we are hoping will be able to give us some real answers. Please pray for Lexy! She need LOTS of prayers and so do we as her parents, we want to help her in any way that we can.

Totally unrelated (told you I felt frazzled ๐Ÿคช) but Jeff got told today (by a guy from the US) that he sounded like he was native to Kenya ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ our Texas is gone!!!! ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ I have noticed how "country" others sound when we video chat and I knew it had to be because our accent had changed! But I'm still saying y'all and my Kenyan accent won't stop that!

Thanks for following this crazy, joy filled journey God has us on!

Random pictures because it has been a while!

#mercychildrenshome #aboutfacemissions #james127 #nonorofit#byebyejiggers #orphans

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Blown away by God's goodness

Photo from Jeff Bys (5).jpg

Posted from facebook for Stephanie

Up late, deep in thoughts and completely blown away by God's goodness. Monday, was an overwhelming day, if you saw the pictures of John's feet you know why.

 fused toes, one fallen off and maggot infested. 

fused toes, one fallen off and maggot infested. 

I've not seen anything that bad...ever. But for a moment I was so torn...I knew we didn't have the money to cover what needed to be done, but I also knew we had to get him help. Being in the field and in the moment is so hard sometimes. Juggling what we are faced with and our budget is even harder. We've recently been in talks with the President of AFM about our budget and our many ministry needs and I was just sure he was going to be upset about this risk that we took. I also know him pretty well and knew he would understand at some level, but I won't lie, the anxiety was very real when posting John's need.

But God! God provided peace and more money than the estimated bill in just hours about $633 in all! Now, assuming his bill is around $400 we will be able to do some repairs on his roof (many of his iron sheets need to be re-nailed down) and get him all set up to continue treatment at home. John told us today that he was born in 1926, but he doesn't look 92 to me. His wife has passed away and so has his only son. However old he is or however long he has left to live life on this Earth I hope it is better than the previous 12 years that he has been battling podoconiosis (Mossy Foot).

Thank you, those words always seems so simple and never enough, but that is all I have. Thank you for all of your prayers, shares and donations! It fills my heart with joy to see y'all jump in and help John! You are making a difference in lives here, you are changing stories. Not only are you helping John, but others are watching and learning. Others are seeing that God provides, others are blown away when we share the stories of how much money God has provided in just hours. It is such a blessing to get to do this work and share in this JOurneY.

#mercychildrenshome #thankyou #aboutfacemissions #kenya #nonprofit#podoconiosis #mossyfoot #changingtheirstory #Godprovides

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Sweet sleeping babies! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜


#aboutfacemissions #changingtheirstory #james127 #mercychildrenhome#orphans #john1418 #kenya

Sometimes you just gotta admire what God is doing, by looking at these beauties!

 Gracious and Joy ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

Gracious and Joy ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

 Ezekiel Valor ๐Ÿ˜

Ezekiel Valor ๐Ÿ˜

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We have a professional video being produced!!!

Praise God that we met a wonderful brother in Christ in Nairobi that has a heart for the Lord and ministry to help the little ones of Kenya just like us at Mercy Children's Home. Git Stephen Gitau  of Gravity Films and Photography is a talented and skilled audio video professional and he offered to help produce a small "get to know AFM Mercy Home" mini documentary. Our cost was just room and board and travel for his crew to come over and spend a few days with us filming photo taking and conducting interviews to help you and the world see our heart and vision of what God is doing among us in Kenya! 

We are so excited to see this project come together, and we are getting some samples of images as Git is working on this project producing it in a way we could never do on our own. Much thanks to Git Stephen for his hard work, which is much more intense than even what they did live with us. Pray with us for this video to capture the heart of what we are doing and to help lift up Christ and his calling for us all!  Thank you for all who give, who pray, who encourage and stay connected with About-Face Missions and the Bys Family.  We treasure your partnerships. Please keep praying!  It may take some months before we have the end product to reveal and release for viewing, so be patient!  Here are a few stylized image that have been leaked out thus far!  

 Our Handsome boys!  Just imagine, just a short time ago, Brandon didn't know these two on each side and while he was living a typical american boy life, these others were begging on the streets of Bungoma trying to stay alive. Now they are best buds. Loving life. 

Our Handsome boys! 
Just imagine, just a short time ago, Brandon didn't know these two on each side and while he was living a typical american boy life, these others were begging on the streets of Bungoma trying to stay alive. Now they are best buds. Loving life. 

 An image from the streets at night when we took our film crew to see real life for the street boys in the city. 

An image from the streets at night when we took our film crew to see real life for the street boys in the city. 

 Stephanie with our kids during our lunch break time at their local school. We carry lunch to all our kids and feed them there. 

Stephanie with our kids during our lunch break time at their local school. We carry lunch to all our kids and feed them there. 

 Jeff, Stephanie and Kepha talking about another who we may need to help next. Every day is full of challenges and new needs and demands. We cannot do it all, but we will do all God allows and enables us to do in helping the poor kids and the extremely needy serving them with Christ's love in practical ways.  While making disciples for Christ and helping build the Church we are working hard to be his hands and feet of compassion among these in Kenya. come partner with us. This is your ministry too. 

Jeff, Stephanie and Kepha talking about another who we may need to help next. Every day is full of challenges and new needs and demands. We cannot do it all, but we will do all God allows and enables us to do in helping the poor kids and the extremely needy serving them with Christ's love in practical ways.  While making disciples for Christ and helping build the Church we are working hard to be his hands and feet of compassion among these in Kenya. come partner with us. This is your ministry too. 

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Day of Love and Joy! Thank you!

posted for Stephanie from Facebook. 

 Blessing of a wonderful donor to rebuild the Burungasi family a new home!

Blessing of a wonderful donor to rebuild the Burungasi family a new home!

Today has been a day full of L๐Ÿ’œVE! We woke up to an email that a family donated $500 to send 4 children back to school and to provide them and their widowed Grandmother with an adequate home! What a huge blessing that is! Then we received a call that we had 3 bags of toys from America waiting for us in town. Today was like Christmas for Mercy Home! We have been hugely blessed and loved well!

ย 

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Cuddle

someone has a new friend. 

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Meet Victor!

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Joyful July day...I missed a bunch but now I'm back! 

Meet Victor! This boy always brings a smile to my face. When you see him on the street he is smiling and if he isn't smiling before he sees you he will smile at you. Jeff and I have had many conversations with him, fed him many times and we desperately want to help him. The "problem" is that he is 16 and in our experience the older the child the harder they are no matter where they come from. Actually he has asked us to take him off the streets. Will you pray for Victor? Will you pray that something will give and Victor will have a home, family and get some education? Will you pray that if Victor is supposed to be here that fear would not stop us. He's probably so far behind in school that he needs to just attend a tech school to get some hands on training in a particular skill so he can get a job and do something besides sniff glue all day. It would bring me so much joy to see him sober and have a real conversation with him.
#aboutfacemissions #mercychildrenshome#streetboycrisis #kenya #nonprofit #james127#orphans

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We bloom where we are

Mercy Home Update!

 And we've grown some since this picture :-)

And we've grown some since this picture :-)

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
Proverbs 16:9 ESV

As many of you know we've been asking for prayers and seeking the Lord on where he would have us. Would He have us stay in Kaya or move to the 7 acre property? Today, best we can tell, that has been answered for us. We were notified recently that the Kenyan ministry who has been raising money for the 7 acre property for the last year has made a cash offer that has been accepted. Since I knew towards the end of last week that this property wouldn't likely be ours I have been able to process most of my feelings and today I have peace with some sadness of course. However I still want to share where my heart is and has been.

I will admit that I haven't taken this news well at all. Now that I have waded through my anger (which is actually feelings of failure) and heartbreak it comes down to one thing for me. The school. The Victorious property has a school that we don't have. We already have a big living space for children, we have clean water and we can and will plant flowers and trees here in Kaya. But we don't currently have a school or the land for a school. ๐Ÿ’”

 As you can see our home is mostly surrounded with dirt and the outside hasn't been plastered yet. The handmade bricks are beautiful, but the rain is damaging to them overtime so we must plaster over them. Once the outside is plastered it will also help seal up our home, meaning less bugs, dirt and mosquitos.

As you can see our home is mostly surrounded with dirt and the outside hasn't been plastered yet. The handmade bricks are beautiful, but the rain is damaging to them overtime so we must plaster over them. Once the outside is plastered it will also help seal up our home, meaning less bugs, dirt and mosquitos.

Currently we send our children to a public Catholic school, but it is completely different than any school you would see in America. Public school here looks like 3 children sitting in 1 small desk, 60+ children to a class, a school of 800+ students to 10 (TEN) teachers, not enough text books for every child, teachers walking around hitting children with sticks for any reason at all, lunch isn't served (children walk home for lunch) because it just isn't in the school budget, there is no running water, no pencil sharpener, no power the majority of the time and we must pay school fees.

Often times I feel like the school undoes what we are trying to teach at home. One of the many things we try and teach our children is that they can trust us (and the entire MCH staff). They can trust us to love them, to feed them, to protect them and to do what is best for them. How can you trust an adult who calls you stupid? How can you trust an adult who has just hit you in front of 50+ other students and you aren't even sure why? How can you trust an adult who hits you for asking why they are about to hit you? How can we as parents protect our children when we are told "This is the Kenyan way."? It is the Kenyan way, but it isn't the only way.

Our goal is to have a great school with small class sizes, with teachers who love children, without beating sticks, with proper supplies, that is able to serve breakfast and lunch year round, that is 100% free for the children in our area who aren't currently able to afford to attend school. Our goal is to have a real Christian school, not just a school that teaches a Christian class (required by the Kenyan government).

 When this from is finished it will be the boys room. Currently we have the girls in a smaller room, but we are out of room in that room for beds. Finishing this room would be a huge blessing to our children.

When this from is finished it will be the boys room. Currently we have the girls in a smaller room, but we are out of room in that room for beds. Finishing this room would be a huge blessing to our children.

So what now? We bloom where we are and basically keep doing what we've been doing. We keep fundraising to finish our home, purchase land and grow our ministry including building a school for our children and our village which could easily cost us more than the $150,000 we have been trying to raise. We keep caring for those God sends us.

Anyone want to guess how many children we have here at Mercy Home? ๐Ÿ˜ฎI am not going to lie to you, waiting is hard for me. I'm very all or nothing if you will, but God is working on that. For the last year and a half I feel like we've basically been camping ๐Ÿ˜‚. So many parts of our home aren't finished, we don't have an actual kitchen or dinning hall, we are just now getting some paint on the walls and we are still living out of our suitcases that we moved here with.

So will you pray for us? Pray for resources, we need a lot of money to finish our unfinished home, for land and to build a school. Pray for us to have patience, me especially. Pray that our eyes will remain on Him and what He wants for us. Pray for us to have a school in January (when the Kenyan school year starts) as we feel this is very important, not only for our children, but the children of our village as well. And thank God for answers even when it doesn't end up looking like we think it will. ๐Ÿ’œ In some ways this is a relief because now we can focus only on this home and property, in other ways it is a bigger burden because we now know we need to build a school from the ground up and purchase additional land.

Thank you for your prayers, love and support. Living this life isn't always easy, but it is a huge blessing. We are constantly growing and constantly trying to better the lives of our children. Making their lives better only happens by your prayers, your support, your sharing and you will never know how much that means to us as the parents of these children. Thank you so very much!

#mercychildrenshome #aboutfacemissions #kenya #james127 #orphans#theleastofthese #streetboycrisis

 I'm not sure if you can see past Robai's smile or not, but we don't have ceilings in our home. While it isn't super important for the whole house it would be nice to have in our bedrooms and office.

I'm not sure if you can see past Robai's smile or not, but we don't have ceilings in our home. While it isn't super important for the whole house it would be nice to have in our bedrooms and office.

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Lull's in the storms, but still hard at work

We are still here and kicking!  Even though you haven't heard much as we are busy at work in Kenya! 

One thing we may have forgotten to mention is that we now are the proud owners of 3 beautiful Honda motorcycles!!  We were spending too much money hiring drivers and renting rides and it only made sense that we invest in a couple more motorcycles for our transportation needs. Here is a photo of our awesome THREESOME of Honda's wrapped in our colorful Purple Bike protective wrap!  Pray also that we may be able to find funds in the near future to buy a small van, but that may need to wait until we get some higher priority items completed first. Click button below to see our latest updates on goals and fundraiser needs. Change is in the air! 

THANK YOU to all of you who pray and give to make this life changing ministry possible here in Kenya!  God bless you!!  

 Stephanie loves colors! :-)

Stephanie loves colors! :-)

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Mercy Home Birthdays all the time!

Posted on behalf of Jeff Bys from Facebook.

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Another MCH family birthday in the books! Today we celebrated Wilbur's 10th bday.

Here's a fun fact: At MCH we celebrate an average of 6 birthdays a month. That's more than 1 per week!

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Joyful July 2,3,4,5,6,7!

Posted on behalf of Stephanie Bys from Facebook

Joyful July 2nd, 3rd and 4th because Nairobi was busy for us! After living in Kenya for a short while you learn you can make plans all you want, but the likelihood of them all happening on your timeline is slim to none. But in Nairobi we were able to get so much done!

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Joyful July 2nd-Our immigration check-in was a complete BREEZE! We had all of our paperwork and all of our paperwork was all REAL so in about 20 minutes we were completely done and that includes waiting in line because we arrived early!

Joyful July 3rd-We were able to meet up with a Kenyan pastor/missionary that Jeff met at a conference in Nairobi in May and he took us to Mully Children's Family! Wow, it was such an honor to be there and we were invited back for a more in-depth tour so we can lean more. If you haven't seen the Mully movie I would encourage you to watch it. What Mully has been doing for the last 25+ years is our dream on a much smaller scale (our dream is on a much smaller scale than what he currently has.). It is neat to get to be with like minded people...you don't feel so crazy in those moments! ;) Also yesterday we got to eat TACOS ๐ŸŒฎ ๐ŸŒฎ and I was able to find some gluten free products that we can't get in Bungoma! God was so good to us yesterday (and every day)!

Joyful July 4th-We are on our way home to see our kiddos! While I know we had things we had to go and do I always hate leaving them. So far it sounds like the children have behaved themselves better than some of the adults!๐Ÿ˜‚So far our travel back hasn't been too bad, just not as fast as I would like for it to be.

And I'm terrible at taking pictures, sorry!!

#joyfuljuly #aboutfacemissions #mercychildrenshome #kenya #bungoma#james127

 

Joyful July #5

Growth! It is such a JOY to get to be a part of the growth happening here at Mercy Home. We cant always snap a picture of the growth, but this one was too cute not to share. All of our children are growing daily whether it is physically, academically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally or in the area of responsibility. Children are amazing and thrive when given food, love, good shelter and a bit of structure.

If you support us in any way you are changing lives like Minnie's in Kenya. Thank you, thank you for helping these children, thank you for allowing us to be the "boots on the ground", thank you for joining in on the joy in our JOurneY.
#aboutfacemissions #mercychildrenshome#bungoma #kenya #changingtheirstory #growth#james127 #thankyou #joyfuljuly

(Current picture taken today while she has malaria...she's not letting it phase her one bit๐Ÿ’œ)

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Joyful July day 6

 The family plus 2 of their Granddaughters. 2 of their children have sickle cell anemia.

The family plus 2 of their Granddaughters. 2 of their children have sickle cell anemia.

Today we started the project of building a new home for a family of 9. Currently they are sleeping in 2 8x8ish huts, children in one and adults and youngest child in the other. As you can see the rooves are made of straw and they are old so when it rains water comes in and the floors get wet. A wet floor isn't too big of a deal unless that is where you sleep without a mattress and that's exactly where this family sleeps. ๐Ÿ˜ž But God! He is so good and we had afamily donate $500 to build them a new home. Today we met with the "fundi" (worker) who will set and build the frame and roof of the home. Tomorrow we will go into town and purchase materials for the home. Monday is build day, they will now have 2 bedrooms and a sitting room (living room) all under one DRY roof! We are still seeking additional donations to cover beds, mattresses, sheets, blankets, mosquito nets and additional iron sheets so we can enclose the "toilet" for this family. If you would like to donate to meet these needs please mark it for "Dishon family".

There's something about people loving on people they've never met that makes me all "heart eyed" ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜. To see someone love the people God loves thousands of miles away, to see someone impact so many lives they've never met, to watch someone care for others children...it brings me so much JOY. Our JOurneY is full of JOY here in Kenya.

Thank you for being JOY makers. When you support our mission here you are not only supporting our children, but you are supporting other families in our community as well. From the local shops in our area, to our staff of 19, from the lady we buy sukuma (collard greens) from daily, to the family that provides us fresh milk daily for the children's porridge and even the extra driver's we require daily...you are helping to support so many families.
#joyfuljuly #aboutfacemissions #mercychildrenshome #nonprofit #james127#kenya #bungoma #changingtheirstory

 

Joyful July day 7

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We have bunnies! For me bunnies bring so much joy. I look at rabbits as pets and pets only, but we (Karson and the boys) have delved into raising rabbits for meat. As you are probably aware our home is ever growing, in order to be able to afford to continue taking in children we have to find ways to produce some of our food. While I highly doubt I will ever eat rabbit I know that the children will benefit greatly from this little project, both in their bellies and knowledge wise. Currently we have 7 does, 1 buck and 6 bunnies. Best we can tell all 7 does are pregnant so soon we will have lots of bunnies. We will butcher at around 12 weeks and as fast as rabbits have bunnies we should have a steady supply for the children. Being able to feed our children better (more meat/protein) bring me SO much joy!

In addition to providing food for MCH we are hoping to use some of the rabbits to help others do this same sort of thing. This would allow them to sell the rabbits and also provide some food for their family. Rabbits are basically free to raise here because the children go and gather fresh weeds/greens for them daily, pluse we eat cabbage, sukuma (collard greens) and carrots on a regular basis so there is plenty of food here for them and they do not eat pellets. Currently we have our rabbits set up in a colony setting and they are doing great.

In about 8-10 weeks we should have our first rabbit stew. And now the boys are asking to start raising birds ๐Ÿ˜’, I just don't like birds. I was hoping that we would focus on goats (we have 1 female) or chickens (we have about 6) next, but birds seem to be much cheaper to start up (about $1 per bird) so it looks like they may just win again.

Thank you for following along, your prayer and your support!

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Only a few more days remaining!

For those who have missed it or might have been forgotten this opportunity to bless the Bys Family!

We have two About-Face Missions supporters who are donating profits to our AFM Mercy Childrenโ€™s Home in Kenya from the sales of items they distribute normally through home party sales, but if you come join these groups you can learn more about two fabulous companies and their missions to help people and now to double the impact by helping us!ย  Trades of Hope products are hand crafted goods that are imported from poor countries where women are given a chance out of poverty and bless you with beautiful craftsmanship. Norwex products have developed state-of-the-art cleaning supplies that are next best thing to a miracle in how they can transform your home life helping you live more chemical free and ease your cleaning life around the home. My family has just recently been introduced to these two companyโ€™s products as we have purchased items from both and are totally impressed!ย  Come take part and help bless Mercy Home and meet some of your needs also!ย 
— David Shelton. AFM Ministry president
 Click this image to be taken to Amanda Berger's Trades of Hope AFM fundraiser page! 

Click this image to be taken to Amanda Berger's Trades of Hope AFM fundraiser page! 

To go direct to the online Trades of Hope AFM fundraiser shopping store click button below. 


 Click this image to be taken to Allison's AFM Fundraiser Norwex products page! 

Click this image to be taken to Allison's AFM Fundraiser Norwex products page! 

If you would rather just start shopping right away click this button for the AFM Norwex fundraiser. 

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Unsung hero of Mercy Home!

 Just after we moved to Kenya, we are so blessed to be here!

Just after we moved to Kenya, we are so blessed to be here!

Joyful July Day 1!   I saw someone doing Joyful June, so I decided I would jump on board in July!

This girl is such a JOY to my heart! Caitie has a heart for babies and children unlike most her age. I remember when she was 9 and Ava-Joy was born, Caitlin had a real live babydoll. Caitie has such a sweet heart and is such a big help in our home. Over the years the main thing she has wanted to be when she grew up was a Mom. She's spent hours reading parenting books, baby books and pregnancy books. She's met some resistance over this choice, but it is what she feels like God wants of her. Aside from being a good Mom she wants to help other Moms be a good Mom. She wants to help educate women on pregnancy, birth and raising children. There have been talks of us possibly opening a birthing center here in Kenya one day and she really likes the idea of that. She wants to hold prenatal, birth and parenting classes there. I don't brag on her enough and she's not a fan of being in pictures so I try and respect that, but I couldn't resist snapping this (first) picture. She's crocheting a blanket for our Minnie while wearing baby Joy on her back because she was fussy. Caitie is such a joy to us and those around her!
#joyfuljuly #caitie #aboutfacemissions #mercychildrenshome #james127#nonprofit #kenya

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Big Dreams can come true!

posted for Stephanie from Facebook

We were given some exciting news last night! After discussing our strong desire and love for the new property with the owners they have decided that we can secure and move into our new 7 acre property for $50,000 down. Then we would pay off the remaining $100,000 with 50k in 6 months and another 50k in one year.

 Primary residence on campus

Primary residence on campus

So our plan right now is to raise $60,000 to secure this beautiful property. The additional $10,000 is to cover legal fees, moving cost, getting the transformer set up to bring power back to the entire property and a few small things that need to be replaced/repaired. Currently we have $15,000 of the $60,000 needed to call this place home. As soon as God has provided the first $50,000 we will enter a legal agreement and start the purchase process. The purchase process will take about a month, but paying the first $50,000 takes the property off of the market.
This is an amazing opportunity that we believe that God has called us to. Originally the property was listed at $800,000 so the price being offered to us is a total God thing. Also an interesting fact is that the previous ministry started shutting down right around the same time Jeff and I first felt the call to Kenya years ago. Since then it has mostly been sitting empty, I'm not saying that this home has been waiting for us, but maybe! ๐Ÿ˜
We have a couple of online fundraisers open right now and we have a couple of more in the works. If you are willing to host a fundraiser for Mercy Children's Home please reach out to us and we can answer any questions you may have. We are also looking for donations to auction off in a Facebook group, no item is too big or small, I've seen small handmade items bring in a lot of money for other charities. While we are constantly asking for your help, we are really just asking for you to join in and experience this greatness with us! Not everyone can come and see or go and be, but everyone can do something and all of the "somethings" add up to life change. Life change is why God moved us to Kenya.
Thank you for your love and support. We are always sharing what God is doing through you with our people here. Just last night I was sent enough money to build a home for a large family currently sleeping on the wet ground in 2 different small huts. That is about God moving in the hearts of His people for His people and not about Jeff and Stephanie at all. We love you and thank you for caring for our children and community!
#aboutfacemissions #mercychildrenshome #kenya #nonprofit #james127#orpahnsandwidows #orphans #bungoma #changingtheirstory

 Hospital included with campus!

Hospital included with campus!

 guest house near main house

guest house near main house

 2 building school campus with 10 classrooms! (prior location of Lavin Academy)

2 building school campus with 10 classrooms! (prior location of Lavin Academy)

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A blessing given is a blessing lived by all!

posted on behalf of Jeff from Facebook

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These are pictures from a recent visit we made to members of the church we planted at Mercy Home. The family is living in extreme poverty (and yet tried to gift us with 2 cabbages). They have 7 children living at home and have had 5 children die. 2 of their kids have sickle cell so we were able to get them set up for the vitamins they need to prevent them from going into sickle cell crisis, which is very painful and requires being admitted to the hospital. The family is currently living in two 8x8 thatch-roofed huts with wet floors due to all the recent rain we've been getting. They have no beds or mattresses and the couch has no cushions. So all the kids sleep on the wet floors. They desperately need a new home.

Thanks be to God! Before we had a chance to post this need, Steph talked to a woman seeking to bless families here in Kenya. The generous donor sent $500 last night, enough to build this family a new house!! Praise God, these kids will not be sleeping on the wet ground any more! The family could still use beds if you would like to chip in. For $500 more we can provide beds, mattresses and blankets for the whole family in their new house if a few of you wanted to help us help this poor family.

 Thank you everyone for praying, sharing, and supporting the work here. So many lives are being changed, and not just physically, but spiritually. Soli Deo gloria!

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These two 8x8 huts are currently sleeping 2 adults and 7 children. It's rainy season, so it rains nearly every day. When you sit inside, you can see daylight through gaps in the thatched roofs..

 What a blessing it will be to this family to have a new house!! God willing, they will have beds too!   

 Steph is holding little Shantel.

Steph is holding little Shantel.

Shantel is about 1 year old and has a sister named Stephanie who is about 3. They are the granddaughters of the family living here. The father is not around and the mother has been gone for a long time seeking work, but has been unable to send the family any money yet. So there were actually 9 kids living here. The grandparents asked us to take Shantel and Stephanie to Mercy Home. We have taken them in while we try to help the family get stabilized. Poor Shantel just got over malaria, but we took her to the hospital today as she was still not feeling well. Turns out she also has a bacterial infection.

#MercyChildrensHome #Kenya #Bungoma #NeemaCommuniyChurch#nonprofit #SoliDeogloria #james127

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2 opportunities to help us!

posted on behalf of Stephanie Bys from Facebook.

Opportunity #1

Christmas is just 6 months away and will be here before you know it, so it isn't too early to start shopping now. We've had a couple people offer to have online parties like this to help us raise money for the new property God is calling us to. Every little bit helps. Allison Bailey has launched an AFM benefit Norwex sale opportunity! If you are interested in cleaning products without all the toxic chemicals add yourself to this group. These Norwex products will help you improve your life and profits will go to us to improve ours! I hear they even have a make-up removing cloth!
Thanks for your support and please share with your friends.

If you don't use Facebook and want to go straight to the shopping page that generates 25% to AFM then click this button! 

 Click this image to be taken to the Norwex About-Face Missions private party group.

Click this image to be taken to the Norwex About-Face Missions private party group.


Opportunity #2

Here's another way you can help support Mercy Home! Amanda Berger with Trades of Hope will be donating 100% of her profit to MCH for our land purchase. Purchasing from Trades of Hope helps women out of poverty and our mission in Kenya to grow. Please join this group and let me or Amanda know if you have any questions. Feel free to share this group with your friends and family.

 #mercychildrenshome #aboutfacemissions #nonprofit #james127#orphans #kenya

 Click image to visit AFM Trades of Hope benefit shopping group!

Click image to visit AFM Trades of Hope benefit shopping group!

Click button below to go directly to benefit shopping page! 

Please we ask you to visit both of these sites and give their products a try and enjoy blessings of living well and helping About-Face Missions support more needy families and neglected children in western Kenya, one of the poorest places on earth! Every sale here or dollar given matters!

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Our Sweet Minnie

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Goodness my life here in Kenya is so blessed! Our sweet Minnie is gaining weight so well and she has quite the sweet personality. She is all about smiling and she is starting to laugh. She is loved by everyone.

In case you have missed it we are raising funds for a 7 acre fully developed property that would house, educate (school) and provide medical care for us! We have 2 awesome Momma's hosting fundraisers for us right now through home based business. One party is for Norwex, chemical free cleaning products and the other is through Trades of Hope, they have all kinds of pretty things. Both sweet ladies will be donating their profits to help us buy this property. If you need help finding those groups (they are posted on my page) let me know and I can add you! Thank you for all of your prayers and support! Big things are happening here and Kenya because that how God works! We will continue to lean on Him and follow His will for Mercy Children's Home. #aboutfacemissions #mercychildrenshome #nonprofit #james127 #orphans#bungoma #kenya #streetboysnomore #thankyou #prayersplease

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Kenyan village life for some children.

 This is the worst case we have seen. I can't wait to see his feet all healed up.

This is the worst case we have seen. I can't wait to see his feet all healed up.

Griffen, around 10 years old, showed up at our home today, alone and asking to come and live with us. His story is so sad, but the condition his feet made me cry ๐Ÿ’”. His father died about 3 years ago from HIV. His mother, a drunkard, went to a funeral a week ago while Griffen was at school. She locked the door to their home and has yet to return. So poor Griffen has been locked out of his home for a week, has no idea when or if his mother will be back and has been forced to stay with an uncle who treats him poorly. His feet have been taken over by jiggers. His toes are now very infected, so much so that he can't relax them. They just stick straight out and he has to walk to school everyday. This can kill him if not treated.

 All the dark spots are holes and jigger "homes".

All the dark spots are holes and jigger "homes".

Why? Why do his feet look like this? Why hasn't his mother helped him? Why hasn't a teacher at his school helped him? Why has a neighbor not helped him? Why is someone not stepping up and being his voice? These are all questions I just don't understand, but I'm asking them with my first world knowledge all while trying to understand in my third world life. This child is in constant pain and just forced to live that way because others haven't helped him. Griffen is part of my why...he's part of the reason we came here and he is part of the reason we stay.

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."John 14:18

#aboutfacemissions #mercychildrenshome #kenya #changingtheirstory#james127 #john1418 #orphans #bungoma #jiggers

 At the hospital getting Griffen's feet tended to and Brendan an antibiotic injection. It cost us $18 to treat his feet today and Caitie and I will finish treating him at home.

At the hospital getting Griffen's feet tended to and Brendan an antibiotic injection. It cost us $18 to treat his feet today and Caitie and I will finish treating him at home.

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Help wanted! and Help is on the way!

Posted for Stephanie Bys from Facebook on the 22nnd

Help wanted and needed for Mercy Children's Home and it doesn't require you to leave your home! ๐Ÿ˜€

1. We need about 4 people (I'm open to more than that) to help run a Facebook group that will hold auctions of donated items to benefit Mercy Children's Home.

2. We need MANY people willing to donate items and or services that will be auctioned off in the group above. (Shipping within the US will need to be paid for by the donor.)

This would be a huge blessing to us at Mercy Home. Jeff and I are just too busy to effectively organize and run a group like this or we would just do it. I've seen and been a part of groups like this that are able to raise a good amount money for their purpose. Once we have the admins set up and the group open we can work on a list with pictures of each donation. If you are able to help admin and run this group please private message me on FB.

Thank you for your support and prayers!
#aboutfacemissions #mercychildrenshome#nonprofit #james127 #changingtheirstory #kenya#streetboysnomore #streetboycrisis#helpushelpthem 
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( PS...  several have volunteered to help us get this auction site launched!  Praise God! )

 Pic of Wilbur because he's adorable, his smile lights up the whole room and I just found his selfie on my phone. Also the stains on his teeth are from the glue he use to sniff daily, he does brush, promise!

Pic of Wilbur because he's adorable, his smile lights up the whole room and I just found his selfie on my phone. Also the stains on his teeth are from the glue he use to sniff daily, he does brush, promise!

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5 more Praises to God!!

 Introducing Samuel !  Who we intook directly from his crisis living situation to Bungoma West Hospital but he is now well and being introduced into our life at MCH!

Introducing Samuel !  Who we intook directly from his crisis living situation to Bungoma West Hospital but he is now well and being introduced into our life at MCH!

Mercy Home update!

1. Jeff's leg is A LOT better! Praise the Lord for that because once I realized we were dealing with MRSA I was freaked out about how long he had been walking around with this infection. I have a recent picture should you medical people want to see it.

2. โ€ŽSamuel came home today! We were there when the Dr's were doing rounds this morning and one Dr said she didn't think Samuel would make it one more day when he first came in. It is such a blessing to get to see these children live and thrive. However, we now have a hospital expense of $820 to cover, but we know he is worth it and God will provide for Samuel.

 Aspen, Silale and her twin Gracie! These girls are happy Silale is better.

Aspen, Silale and her twin Gracie! These girls are happy Silale is better.

3. โ€ŽWe didn't announce it, but we also had another little one in the hospital for a few days. Silale (See-La-Lay) had malaria and was treated at home, but she never fully bounced back. After taking her for testing it was discovered that she also had a bacterial infection and very low blood count so she needed to stay and get a blood transfusion. During her stay she was tested for HIV twice. Both test gave different answers, so her blood has been sent off for a 3rd test. Please pray that there would be no HIV found in her blood work. Please also pray for money to come in to cover all of these medical expenses, we've been hit extremely hard lately with 3 in the hospital, one of those 3 required surgery and we've had a lot of dental work done. The only money we have to pull from is our weekly budget and land/finish Mercy Home fund. We are trusting God to cover these funds as we believe that each child here was brought to us by God. All while He knew their exact needs, so we continue to trust and follow Him.

4. Our 3 little babies we took in are doing great! Minnie is gaining weight daily, she is no longer malnourished and she is even getting a little chunky. Gracious and Joy are eating and responding so well! Both girls are interacting with us more and more and they never turn away food.

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5. We have been hugely blessed with a new sponsor, a business that has committed to supporting Mercy Home monthly! We have been praying for our donor base to grow and God is answering that prayer. You will now see their logo on our newsletters and website in recognition of their love. A huge thank you, which is never enough, goes out to Mike Mazyck Realty of North Texas! Anyone who has a business and wants to sponsor any of AFM Ministry's work can do so by contacting David at david@afm.ngo for more information.

Thank you for following along, loving us, sharing our journey and giving when the Lord guides you to. The children you are supporting here are worth every single penny!

Added note from DC Shelton: We also want to shout out a huge THANK YOU for our other two business sponsors who have been helping us for months now, Charity Center Kenya, and Five Plus Two Ministries that you will now see on our website and email updates! Thank you all who give, whether $5 or $5000 You are helping us change lives and literally save lives in Kenya for Jesus! We need you all to do this well. 

#aboutfacemissions #mercychildrenshome #james127 #orphans #kenya#bungoma #nonprofit

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